How to Handle Workplace Bullying

Wed, Nov 7, 2012


A bully in the workplace is absolutely unacceptable, no matter what kind of atmosphere your office promotes. When workers make other workers feel uncomfortable — especially intentionally, as the definition of bullying pretty clearly suggests — the result is an environment in which human beings are made to feel uncomfortable and employees aren’t able to reach their full potential. This is bad for a number of reasons. It’s bad, first and foremost, for the employee who’s receiving the bullying because no individual person should have to be made to feel inadequate, insecure, or uncomfortable by another person when they don’t deserve it or when it’s not constructive. It’s also bad for you as an employer, however, for a number of reasons. For one thing, bullying reflects poorly on your ability to manage and control your workplace. Another problem with bullying is that it heavily detracts from how much focus and energy your employees can devote to their work, and it results in an environment where people don’t feel happy, fulfilled, or comfortable. It’s your responsibility as an employer to make sure these needs are being met, so preventing bullying from entering your place of work is a really huge priority if you’re running it. We’re going to talk about some of the best ways to handle workplace bullying so you can make sure nobody’s being made to feel in a way that they shouldn’t, and can keep everybody feeling happy and fulfilled. You’ll also be able to make sure that your employees are getting their work done, and not wasting their time making fun of one another or sitting through the conflict resolution that will naturally have to ensue. When bullying is avoided altogether, everybody wins.

While having a “no-tolerance” policy for bullying might be a little extreme — depending on how severe the problem is, bullying shouldn’t really be considered an offense worthy of termination — it’s a good idea to put the message out that bullying is absolutely not OK. Posting a notice or two in the office will be a good way to get the message out, but make sure it comes from a more caring place. In fact, by reaching out to anyone who might be a victim of bullying, you can effectively communicate to both parties that not only will such behavior not be tolerated, but that victims will be looked after to the utmost degree.

Should a bullying issue be brought to your attention, it’s important to resolve the issue immediately. An apology should be issued, and this should be kept private. Bullying usually involves ridicule and offensive behavior that’s unprovoked, and this kind of behavior should be sharply disciplined. Some kind of referral or penalty should be set in place for bullying, and it should be made clear that this kind of behavior is intolerable. Sometimes even the best umbrella companies in the UK have to deal with problems with bullying, but quick and decisive action will help you guarantee that this problem leaves you alone in the long run.

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